Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sitting At The Laundromat

Having just returned home from a ten day vacation from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, it became clear that I would have to do laundry immediately.  I also found that our washer is not properly working and waiting on it to be fixed immediately was only a dream.  The washer was going to need new parts.

So I decided to go to the laundromat.  I haven't been to a laundromat in twenty years and only then because the kids were in 4-H and needed jeans washed and returned to them for the next event or show that called for clean clothes.

Nothing much has changed in those twenty years.  I find myself there with others my age, wearing sweat pants and a baggy sweatshirt because all the clothes needed washed.  Glamor shots at the laundromat are not taken here!

I started my line of washing machines, six washers all together, the tubs aren't as big as my washer at home.  I add the detergent and the quarters and looked for a chair to wait.  There are no chairs, so I go to the car and get my folding chair, left in the car from the last pow wow and bring it inside.

As I sit and wait 25 minutes for the washers to run, I have time to observe my surroundings.  People watching is always a great way to spend time.  These are the things I found amusing............

..... Children find laundry carts on wheels to be the most fun.  No matter how many times their grandma threatens them.

..... Men seem totally out of place in a laundromat.

..... People can't really hear the TV because of all the noise from the washers and dryers and children squabbling.

..... Magazines are tattered and torn, unreadable and outdated.

..... No one seems to be any happier than I am to be there!

..... NO ONE here is interested in the OSU/Michigan game on TV.

..... Wondering if I should be wearing a watch to see if the dryer times are what I'm actually paying for, they seem somewhat off!

..... Kids think the empty laundry baskets turned upside down make great drums!
(my kind of kids, wondering if they are connecting their heartbeat to that of the Mother Earth when they drum........)

..... "MOMMA?"  "WHERE ARE YOU?"  (I pray she didn't leave!!!)

..... It's somewhat embarrassing to fold your unmentionables in front of strangers.

..... Rule #1, Don't drop clean clothes on the laundromat floor.

..... Rule #2,  don't bring your leftover turkey sandwich with you to eat for lunch.   Those of us who are hungry might just throw you in a large dryer and consume your lunch for you!

..... Leaving the laundromat is the best thing in the world!  Ten days of laundry done in 1 1/2 hours!!!!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Talk............

Last weekend I was ask to speak about my tipi experiences.  I agreed to do this a couple weeks prior to the engagement.  As soon as I agreed I became nervous, I really don't like speaking before a group.  I know, I know.......  I would be among friends and like minded people and yet it still causes butterflies in the pit of my stomach.

I was to speak before a group of people that gather for a Mending Medicine Retreat every fall in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Our teacher is a very special Lakota man, John Two-Hawks.  And I am going to talk about my tipi!!!  Serious reason to have some doubts about my decision to speak, I claim no connection to the indigenous people, at the same time I am VERY drawn to their customs and culture.  However, I know John and he is not a person who judges anothers journey.  I have shared my concerns about doing things that are not from my culture, it makes me uneasy and I tread here lightly.

So the day came and I often thought of backing out and yet I love talking about the tipi and the gifts it has brought my way.  By evening I was sure it would be okay to talk......... until the introduction began.  Fear crept into my very soul!  I was being called to the podium.

The beginning was a little shaky, I was trying to explain my need for a tipi began as an idea that I needed a place away from everyday things.  At that time I was working hard to get my gourd art out into the world, doing two or three fine art shows a month.  I was not taking time for myself, I was loosing my connection to nature and it was beginning to wear on me.   I have always been out in nature, riding horses, camping and often just sitting in a woods.  I was really missing that in my life.

 A tipi would be my vacation at home, it began as such seven years ago.  What causes me to become emotional is the fact it has become so much more.  It has taught me many things about myself and how I want to live my life.  That is what I wanted to translate to my friends sitting before me.  I have written blogs on my tipi lodge in the past, the most important part is what I want to share today. 

The lodge poles of a tipi are it's bones, they sit on our Mother Earth in a circle, the poles reach for the sky.  The door faces east, the place of the rising sun.
The bones of the tipi are covered in canvas (in the old days buffalo skins).
The most important part came to me several years down the road.  A fire inside the tipi is the heart, the center, the very soul of the tipi lodge.  The fire gave my tipi lodge life.

All of these things about the tipi are also us..........  We are a frame of bones, covered with skin.  We walk on this earth and reach for the sky.   The "fire" that lives inside our frame is our heart, our passion and our soul. 

Feed your heart when the fire goes low, fill yourself up, lighten the world around you.  Warmly embrace your friends and loved ones.  Feed your passions.  Listen to what your soul needs.

I wished I'd remembered all those points when I spoke, I write them now while I am alone with my spirit self, I can hear clearly now and I listen.  I comes easily in this quiet place, unlike when I am speaking. 

To finish my talk, I read what was written on the back of the painting I placed in this blog.  The painting is done on the canvas of my first tipi lodge.  After several years of sun, rain and wind it became frayed and worn, Hurricane Ike finished her off four years ago and I couldn't bring myself to throw the canvas away.  And so it was finally revealed to me, I must cut it into circles and paint stories upon the canvas.  And I did. 

The back of the canvas/painting reads;
                      This canvas is filled with dreams, visions and ceremonies
                  from all who came and sat under its lodge poles and canvas
                  of white.  Campfires brought warmth and comfort, the smoke
                  carried prayers to the Creator.
                       The smoke stains are the prayers that yet ripple through
                  eternity.  May you feel the prayers and the great honor I feel
                  when creating a humble painting to share with you.
                                   Many Blessings...............